Director: Michael Katleman
A group of thinly drawn out journalists hit the African bush in search of a man eating Crocodile that's been snacking away on the
poor locals. Runs-in with the peeved off, giant croc and tussles with the
resident tyrant ensues.
January 2007! Welcome to dumping month (where Studios release A LOT of their un-wanted
products), the hardest time of the year for a schmuck like me, one that pays the
bills seeing/reviewing movies. Needless to say that the deceiving marketing campaign for the
"based on a true story"
PRIMEVAL (no it’s not a serial killer opus) and its show nothing trailers didn’t have me too pumped
for it. So I went in there and wrestled this Croc with my expectations lower than
Paris Hilton on her knees convincing daddy to get her
yet another new car. Maybe that’s why I didn’t think it was THAT bad.
PRIMEVAL had a couple of goodies going for it. Its “been there done that a ga-zillion times” initial premise was enticing enough to hook me in early on, its pacing was fairly
zippy-a-dee-doo-da and it put out a couple of money one-liners that had me grinning
like the Joker sniffing glue off a trinket's butt crack (the smuggling a person across the border up one’s ass bit was gold). Furthermore the movie sported a couple of money “Croc attack scenes”
(when they let you see something) that almost made it worth the trip and some of the
visuals were gorgeous in an “Africa Tourist Brochure” friendly type of way.
With that slammed on the table, the bulk of it all was fairly pedestrian, never exciting enough to inspire
a rock hard boner and rarely dull enough to have one wishing for a sea of pillows. Now
that I think of it, the story mostly came to life when the obviously CG Crocodile
(all that money, they still can't do it right) would grunge up to cause a ruckus.
That was one big, angry lizard! Damn! Other than that…it was whatever in whatever land.
It’s a shame because it did feel like there was a good movie in there somewhere
that got lost in the cut-throat Post-Production jungle. There were so many sequences with
mucho potential (The Orlando and the Croc run for example) that were cut way too
short for their own good. Maybe its just me, but if you have something
gripping going on, with momentum in its back-pack, you run with it till the end,
no? You don't pull out before the pay-off, that's just good for the bedroom man!
And the same went for the impotent kills! Why were they communicated via all kinds of grating quick-cuts and
migraine inducing shaky cam garbage? CAN I SEE SOMETHING MAN! PLEASE? If I wanna shake & bake, I’ll lock myself in a running washing machine
with my ex-girlfriend's corpse and a bag of flour; I came here to see a f*cking film,
not to get a bad case of motion sickness! COME ON!
And it didn’t fare much better story wise either. Jumbled was the word and “who cares” was the result. Instead of being a “killer
jamboree with subplots about “human threats” as back-up, it
stupidly flipped the coin! The Croc hunt was alas mostly in the background, leaving way for snore inducing
non-character interaction, ho-hum dialogue and some bull-crap about a Tyrant owning The Bush (the African wilderness
that is, not a woman’s vagina) that I couldn’t give two whores about. Sometimes
simplicity is key. Here was one of those times. Killer Croc + dumb-ass group of
journalists should equal fun times at the slaughterhouse, NOT bla, bla, bla. How
can you miss that mark? Its one, two, three!
At the end of the lunch this flick had more in common with Anaconda 2 than
The Ghost and the Darkness (the vibe it was going for). It can make for an
okay DVD viewing I guess, when bored on a Sunday afternoon with no human receptacle to fill in
sight; but big screen worthy? F*CK THAT NOISE! Save your dough! This Croc bites like a
little girl who just started teething.
We get some after the fact cadavers, chomped bodies, Croc bites and severed limbs. The film could've been gory but the shaky cam and quick cut
approach made sure that didn't happen. Boo!
Although uneven, this was the first time that I saw Dominic Purcell (Tim) actually emote something onscreen that went beyond brooding.
He was likeable, animated and yes, still wore his shirt wide open for us to see
his bulking neck. Brooke Langton (Aviva) did fine as the token female trinket of the group. Not much of a part.Orlando
Jones (Steven) usually bores me with his shtick but here he actually made me
laugh. Who knew? Jürgen Prochnow (Jacob) is always good times to me, even when he's cashing a check.
T & A
Brooke Langton's shirt got ripped open, but her breasts were so small
(nothing wrong with that, I like small tits better than big ones) and her bra so
padded that it looked like thick empty cups floating in the air. This was the first time
bra shot made me smirk. The ladies get Purcell's tree trunk neck and the Croc's long tail.
The flick put out some sumptuous shots as it capitalized on its lavish setting ably. I also dug its randomly bleak atmosphere and its slow motion bits. Too bad lots of it was ruined by overly tight editing and headache inducing shaky cam-crap.
Uneven. We get some generic rap and a slick agressive score that didn't show up enough to leave a bite mark.
PRIMEVAL was watchable yet incredibly disposable. That's as far as it went. It slithered along at an
easy pace, showed off some gnarly action scenes, delivered a gorgeous
setting and gave me a handful of chuckles. Too bad the Croc looked like a
Nintendo reject, the story was generic and un-focused, the shaky cam/quick cut
madness LAME and the horror shamefully (and often enough clumsily) played down. See it on DVD if you have to
tackle it or skip it all together and rent The Ghost and the Darkness instead, a better film that succeeded in doing what Primeval tried to do. Arrow out…of booze
and brain cells!
The flick was shot on location in South Africa.
STOMP THE PRIMEVAL OFFICIAL SITE HERE